Riordan Quoted In Law360 Article Analyzing IL Supreme Court’s Skaperdas Opinion
CM partner Brian J. Riordan was quoted in a recent Law360 article analyzing the Illinois Supreme Court’s Skaperdas opinion holding that insurance agents owe a duty of care in obtaining coverage requested by policyholders. The Court ruled that the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure imposes a duty on agents, not just insurance brokers, to act with “ordinary care and skill” in obtaining coverage requested by a policyholder. The Court determined that the term “insurance producer” as used in the statute can be read to encompass both agents and brokers.
“The Illinois Supreme Court’s decision rejects an argument advanced by captive agents that they merely have to present options to the customer and have no duty to procure specific insurance” Brian explained. “The Illinois Supreme Court recognized that the Legislature has weighed the public policy concerns here and looked at what the original statute intended….The fact is, insurance producers hold all the information and know all the technical jargon, not the insureds. The Legislature said basically that there was an uneven playing field and that customers rely on insurance producers, so they should owe them a duty of ordinary care.”
Brain further noted that “the ruling doesn’t increase insurance brokers’ or agents’ duty in interacting with customers” and that “there shouldn’t be a flood of new claims against agents.”
“They just need to do what they’ve always done and provide their clients with what they’re asking for,” Brian said.